House Democrats Optimistic About Big Gasline Announcement

“It’s very encouraging to see new focus on the line that gets the most for Alaska”

JUNEAU – Today, House Democratic Leader Beth Kerttula released the following statement in response to the announcement about a large-scale gas pipeline from the North Slope:

“It is very encouraging to see new focus on a big gas pipeline from the North Slope and the potential for an All-Alaska line. A big export line gets the most for Alaska – new incentives to develop on the North Slope, the cheapest gas for Alaskans, and the best opportunity to create opportunities for generations of Alaskans. We look forward to working with industry, the governor and other members of the Legislature to make this long-time Alaska dream a reality.”

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Rep. Gara Repeats Call That Port Not Keep Returning For More Public Money

JUNEAU – Today Rep. Les Gara (D-Anch.) repeated his call to the Port of Anchorage that it promise not to come back for more public funds if it gets $350 million from the state. The Port project has been plagued with hundreds of millions of dollars in cost overruns.

“This project started out as a $275 million proposal. Then it was $500 million. Then $700 million. Then the former Port Director said it would be $1 billion more for three needed sections. When does it stop? I’m not comfortable putting unlimited funds into a project until I know it’s been efficiently designed,” said Gara.

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NEWS: Democrats Move to Improve Small Gasline Proposal

Without fixes, bill could undercut development and lead to high gas prices for Alaskans

JUNEAU – Before voting on House Bill 9 (HB9) tonight, House Democrats offered a number of amendments to protect consumers, resource development incentives, and the state’s interests as the state moves forward on a small gasline from the North Slope.

“I am all for getting a gasline to get Alaska’s gas to market and to Alaskans. A small line should be our last option. With alternatives that bring cheaper energy to Alaskans moving forward, it’s premature to rush ahead with a bill that undercuts development and puts the state and consumers at risk.”

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Legislative Report Shows School Funding Has Lagged 5% Behind Inflation Since Governor Parnell Took Office

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 26, 2012

This week the House Finance committee will take up whether to increase school funding this year, including House Democratic calls that funding keep up with inflation. “The Governor has given salary and benefit increases to every one of his own agencies for increases in inflation. He should do the same for students,” said Rep. Les Gara (D-Anch.).

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Rep. Les Gara: Governor’s Education Proposal Really $10 million Over Last Year, Not $30 million

Today, Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) released the following statement on the governor’s proposal to give additional one-time funding to Alaska’s schools.

“The governor shouldn’t suggest a $10 million increase over last year is a $30 million increase. It’s less than 1 percent more than last year’s school funding and is roughly one quarter of what schools need just to keep up with inflation. The governor gave all his other departments inflation adjustments for salary and fuel increases, just not for Alaskans’ educational opportunity.”

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Democrats to Gov: Stop Touting Existing Oil Industry Commitments as New

Official reports show I-Pad, other promised investment already underway under ACES

JUNEAU – Today Representative Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks) and Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) called on the governor to stop touting existing oil industry commitments as new when he pitches his multi-billion dollar oil tax giveaway.

“For the last four to five years, the oil industry has reported to the state that these projects are already in their plans, so how can the governor keep repeating that they are new commitments?” asked Rep. Kawasaki, a member of the House Resources Committee.

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